NZ nurses will strike despite the New Zealand Nurses Organisation recommending to its members to agree with the latest pay offer from DHB.

Voting closed Monday afternoon4 and while there was a historic number of nurses who voted, it was still a resounding no.

The representative for Māori nurses Kerre Nuku says that Māori nurses stand in solidarity with their colleagues.

"This is about the profession; this is about supporting nursing and the voice of nursing."

Emergency department nurse Jill Mortimer says nurses are overworked and underpaid, leading to fatigue and that's putting patients at risk.

"Nurses are tired from over-time, working extra days to meet the need and on top of that our top priority and concern is the patient - that means not just the patient but their whānau and all the things that go into making well-being for a person."

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says he's disappointed with their decision.

"The Government is naturally very disappointed. That's because we approached the negotiations in a positive way. The Government doubled the offer from its opening position in addition to a pay increase, the offer sought to address staffing issues by adding 500 extra nurses."

Nuku adds strike action wasn't an easy decision.

"This was a challenging and difficult position that nurses found themselves in. Public service has always been paramount and that means part of this campaign has also been about raising the awareness around patient safety."

Despite the strike action on Thursday, there will be life to preserve services at each hospital to care for patients.

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